We all know Team Sunweb is a force to be reckoned with in today’s peloton. In the 2018 season, Tom Dumoulin achieved second place in the general classification of both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. The women’s team as well as the riders who ride cyclocross have also booked serious successes. But great victories only motivates the team and the riders to make more improvements. Team Sunweb operates at the very highest level of cycling, and is therefore also aiming for improvements in the 2019 season. And they are not doing that alone.
Cervélo, Craft, Lazer, KPMG, Skoda and more
The team has a group of dedicated partners who have one clear goal: to be the best. And the new group of Team Sunweb partners bring a wide range of knowledge and expertise to the table. The team’s new bike partner, Cervélo, has new aero model which was born in the wind tunnel: the S5. Cervélo is all about innovation. And that is reflected in the new partnership, which is more than mere sponsorship. The riders’ feedback about the bikes will facilitate developments for future models.
This type of joint venture underlines the new Team Sunweb partner portfolio. While in the past, sponsors were sought only for financial support, joint ventures in terms of product development and innovation are now the order of the day. This also well reflects one of Team Sunweb’s core values: Keep Challenging.
Other new Team Sunweb partners reflect this way of working: this includes the highly-respected cycling clothing brand Craft, as well as helmet manufacturer Lazer. In addition, Team Sunweb has launched a new and unique joint venture with auditing giant KPMG. While the project is firmly under wraps at the moment, there is talk of a performance data analysis superbrain, which will eventually serve the entire team in order to track and improve everyone’s performance analysis. There are also new partnerships with Skoda for the team cars, and Continental for tyres.
The Team Sunweb riders
There are whole lot of new faces at Team Sunweb in both the World Tour men’s team, as well as the women’s team and the development team. This includes youthful talent who will be given the opportunity to show what they can do, as well as experienced riders to fill the gaps left by some of the riders who moved on to other teams after the 2018 season. In the men’s team, two well-known names from the peloton join the ranks of the seasoned professionals at Team Sunweb: Nicolas Roche and Jan Bakelants. Also, the less well-known young Australian rider Robert Power is a new arrival. The riders from all three squads (men, women and development team) all joined together for the 2019 team presentation in Berlin. All of the team left Berlin to head south for their respective winter training camps in Calpe, Spain.
“One of the special things about Team Sunweb is that it treats us development team riders in the same way as the top professionals, which is unusual for riders of our age,” said new signing 18-year-0ld Edo Maas. Maas is an upcoming talent who won the E3-Harelbeke for juniors in 2018 and came 4th in the Junior Paris Roubaix. “This makes for an excellent atmosphere, and it’s a great way for me to grow as a rider. I love the Spring Classics. The harder the racing gets, the better. I’m really looking forward to proving myself in the new season.”
Chad Haga, one of the senior domestiques (support riders) in the team, rode both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 2018. He explained during the team presentation interview with The Prologue that he was very well rested over the winter break. “This off-season was the most time I’ve ever been off the bike! So coming back is a hard reset for me and a bit of a shock really (laughs). I am not used to losing quite so much fitness.” Haga is a key domestique for Tom Dumoulin and the Team Sunweb squad and is known as a bit of a philosopher in the group. “Becoming a better racer is all about self-improvement. I have a perfectionistic attitude and like to challenge myself in order to get the most out of myself, whatever the task is.”
Søren Kragh Andersen, who ended the 2018 season on a high note by beating Niki Terpstra in the final to win an edition of Paris Tours which included some serious gravel sections, is aiming for a major role during the Spring Classics. “I hope to be able to share a leadership role with Michael Matthews in the Spring Classics: to be heading into the finals together and see in the final who is the strongest between us. I will be there for him in the pre-final and he for me. We showed that we understand each other well in the Binck Bank Tour 2018 (Matthews won a stage and was second in the General Classification and Kragh Andersen was 7th in the GC).”
Floortje Mackaij has been racing for the Team Sunweb women’s team for six years. “We have a super-strong team with a number of new, great young riders. I think our team spirit makes us different from other teams: we have one goal and we know we have to achieve that together. We are ready to show that in 2019!”